Déise double-whammy as key duo injured

WATERFORD’S injury woes have deepened ahead of the Munster SHC final on July 12 as joint-captain Stephen Molumphy and veteran defender Tony Browne suffered major setbacks on Tuesday night.

Molumphy attempted to take a light part in training on Tuesday prior to a challenge match against Clare but he was helped off the field as the injury flared up again.

Browne was carried off with a leg injury during the match itself and was assessed by team medics yesterday.

Manager Davy Fitzgerald will learn the full extent of Browne’s injury before his squad meet for tonight’s scheduled training session.

Meanwhile, Clare returned home with a morale-boosting 0-22 to 2-15 victory under their belts from the challenge outing.

However, Waterford played just a handful of top names as Browne, Declan Prendergast, Jamie Nagle, Eoin McGrath and Eoin Murphy lined out at various stages. John Hurney, brother of dual star Gary, showed up well while Tallow’s Thomas Ryan looked very sharp and scored a goal after he was introduced as a substitute.

Elsewhere Kildare’s rookie defender Hugh McGrillen will be fit to take his place in the Leinster football final on Sunday week. McGrillen was replaced in the second half of the Lilywhites’ semi-final victory over Laois with a foot injury, but it has since emerged that the athletic corner-back was only taken off as a precaution.

Wexford attacker Matty Forde has virtually resigned himself to missing the entire championship campaign this year. Forde was ruled out of the Leinster Championship clash with Kildare on June 13 after undergoing surgery on a spine complaint in late May and will also miss the Model County’s first-round All-Ireland qualifier tie against Offaly at Wexford Park on Saturday.

“I went back to the surgeon recently, and he told me it would be a minimum two months before I could think of playing again.”

Meanwhile Croke Park chiefs have launched cut price ticket schemes to entice more fans to All-Ireland senior championship games.

With attendances suffering because of the recession, GAA bosses have introduced six new deals to get fans through the turnstiles.

The ‘Hurling Heaven’ package priced at €90 includes tickets for one hurling quarter-final and two semi-finals and represents a saving of €35 on the 2008 equivalent. The ‘Football Feast’ deal includes tickets for two football quarter-finals and both semi-finals and costs €99 – €60 less than last year.

Other offers include a package covering one quarter and a semi-final costing €65 and a ‘Dual Deal’ for the quarter-final and semi-final stages of both championships at €175. There are also club pass and group pass offers.

GAA President Christy Cooney who unveiled the new packages yesterday, said: “We have been very happy with attendances at our games this year but we have said all along that in these challenging times we would continue to review our ticketing arrangements in an effort to offer our members and followers value for money.”

The GAA has finalised admission prices for this weekend’s All-Ireland SFC qualifiers. Entry to stands will cost €20 and admission to terraces has been reduced by €5 to €10.

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